Dolphin deaths ‘worry’ South Australians

A public meeting will be held next week amid ongoing concerns over fish and dolphin deaths along South Australian beaches.

Over Easter tens of thousands of small fish washed up dead, and authorities attributed the large kill to algal bloom sparked by unseasonal winds.

But they remained baffled by a spate of dolphin deaths with 16 reported cases across the state in March and the toll growing to 24 in April. The latest was on Adelaide’s south-coast on Wednesday.

SA Museum officials have conducted post mortem examinations on some of the dolphins and are waiting for the results.

They say more examinations have also been scheduled.

Adelaide man Nigel Black has organised a public meeting at Port Noarlunga on April 24 and has called on the state government to provide some answers for the deaths.

He said there was much speculation in the community attributing the cause to algal bloom, the recently completed desalination plant or possibly ships dumping waste into the sea.

“I would not know myself, but I am sick of seeing dead animals on the beach,” Mr Black said on his Facebook page where more than 200 people have already indicated they will attend the meeting.

“One thing is certain – the picture is not clear and we should demand an answer.”

After investigating the fish deaths over Easter, Biosecurity SA’s manager of aquatic pests Vic Neverauskas said scientists were confident they were the result of an upwelling of cold water from deep in the ocean.

Fanned by three weeks of winds from the southeast this nutrient-rich water was pushed up the coast towards Adelaide, triggering the algal bloom which in turn clogged the gills of small fish.

“This phenomena happens every single year to a greater or lesser degree,” he said.

Scientists said the same cause could not be attributed to the dolphin deaths.

Source: 9News

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